SCRIPTURE – Mat 7:24-25 OCTOBER, 2008
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
SUBJECT – EXTREME CHRISTIANITY
When I use the word, extreme, what is the first thing that comes to your mind??
Well, seeing that I am talking about a 'religion', you would more than likely conclude that I am implying something in the line of the religious extremists that are wreaking havoc in the world today, through acts of terrorism.
If we look at what these people, [the terrorists], are doing, whether you agree with them or not, much of it has to do with what they believe, as pertaining to their religion.
What they tend to believe, is that certain things are right, while others are wrong. And the way to deal with those that are wrong is to turn away from them. They believe that in order to keep themselves in right standing with God, they must make sacrifices, to keep themselves pure, and clean.
But, it goes further than that.
While this alone would garner remarks from outside observers, as, 'a bit extreme', they are simply following their beliefs, as they interpret them. And not only that, they are completely willing to die, for what they believe.
Part of that belief also says, according to them, that they should avoid, or if possible eliminate anything, or anyone that presents a threat to their living the lifestyle they are committed to.
That threat of being, contaminated, or soiled by, what they call 'infidels [unbelievers to their religion], is the reason they are on, what they call a mission from God, to convert, or kill, all infidels.
The message of their religion is clear. In order to preserve your purity, and remain unblemished, avoid all sort of things that can defile you. If you can't avoid the threat, eliminate it.
Since the US, in their minds, is the biggest threat to their remaining undefiled, they choose to eliminate it.
The other thing that keeps them going, and willing to die for it, is the mistaken belief that, if they die in the battle to eliminate the evil that threatens them, they will immediately go to Heaven.
This, in a nutshell, is what these extremist Muslims believe.
Looking at parts of the Koran, some have said that their type of thinking, may, and I repeat MAY, possibly be legitimate, if you carry out the meaning of some of the scriptures, to their 'extreme' possible definition.
That is what they believe, and that is why they are called extremists.
The majority of Muslims say that their religion is one of peace, which puts them at odds with these 'extremists', which also makes them possible targets of these extremists, even though they are Muslims.
They won't usually target them unless they have either consorted with their enemy, or have been converted from Islam, to Christianity, which is the worst of all threats.
Needless to say, even though they are wrong, they adhere totally to what they believe, and are willing to die for it, no matter what anyone else thinks.
Then, we have the Christian.
What is it that the Christian is supposed to believe, and how should we live our lives.
Well, if we look at the subject scriptures, Jesus Christ, no less, is laying out just exactly what the Christian, is supposed to be doing, as concerning our lifestyle.
In the scriptures preceding the subject verses, and, for that matter, since the bible is, the word of God [Christ], then every word, is recognized as being His Word, or sayings. Then, we can apply the subject verses, to all of the bible.
Now Jesus, mentioned in the subject verses, the positive side of adhering to the principles that He laid out in the previous chapters (Mat 5 -7), during His sermon on the mount.
In them, He tells us how blessed we are when certain things happen to us,
and how we are to rejoice in all sorts of adversity.
He then tells us how we are the salt of the earth, and the light to the world. This means that everything we say and do, should be reflecting the principles of God, so that we can positively affect those that are in darkness, and bring them in to the light. He tells us, not to shrink away from those duties, but to stand up, before the lost, and point them to the way of salvation.
He then lets us know that His ministry, was not ordained to change God's law, but rather, to fulfill it.
He then warns that there is justice that will be meted out to those that disobey, or teach others to do so, the commandments that He has put forth, for us to live by.
I could go on and on, but I think you can get the point.
These 3 chapters, give us a clear detail of how we should live our lives.
And what does He tell us at the end, in the subject verses?? The fact that anyone that hears His sayings, and does them, is a wise person, that is rooted in a 'rock solid' foundation. One that can not be destroyed, no matter what comes against it.
Notice. This can only be achieved, by a person hearing His words [the Truth], and applying them to his/or her life.
The 2 verses following the subject verses, let us know the consequences of not adhering to His word. They are likened to a foolish person, who, builds his/or her life on something other than the total Word of God. And how, when problems come, their life is washed away.
God, is fully aware of who has heard His words, and who hasn't. He also knows who is trying to apply those words to their lives, even though they may stumble, and who is trying to be slick, thinking they can fool Him. Remember this, you can fool man, but not God.
The problem we have in our society today, as pertaining to Christians, is that the overwhelming majority of us, tend to believe that, you can be a Christian, and not go to all of the 'extremes' that the bible outlines for us to follow. We, or rather, 'they' tend to believe that parts of the bible, are for those that have some special anointing on their lives, where they have the power to live that type of lifestyle, while the others are excused from it because God surely didn't mean everyone had to live like that.
The problem is, God wants all of us, to live the same type of life, that Christ lived, while He was here, as it pertains to living a Holy, sanctified, righteous, lifestyle.
No one, has any excuse, for not trying to live up to that goal. If you are not living that way, then you should at least be trying to do it.
If we look at the Muslim extremists that I mentioned earlier, they put their lives on the line for what they believe, even though it is wrong, but most Christians, won't even do half of what they should, because it would put them in the category of being 'extreme.'
Have you ever heard the term, or thought of someone who is trying to live the type of life that God calls for, 'the religious right?' Do you know what that is?? That is persecuting them, for trying to live a righteous, sanctified life. That is persecuting
them for daring to try being what Jesus wants us to be, and that is 'extremists.'
When I look at how Christians, tend to only do what is comfortable for them to do, or what is popular in their communities, or with their families, I see why they tend to be having so many problems, especially in these times in which we are living. They have no real foundation, because their lives are not firmly rooted and grounded in God's word. They want to pick and choose what they want to follow, and what to ignore. And that won't get it.
Everything we do, from the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed, should be governed by the Word of God. We should be reading the bible, praying, meditating on His word, and seeking His guidance in everything we do. To do less, is setting yourself up for trouble.
He tells us to trust in Him for everything, yet we put our trust in everything else.
We have a situation facing us in the next couple of months, as to who we want to be president. And, one of the big problems we have is, with everything seeming to be falling apart, people, including Christians are looking at both candidates, to figure out which one will be able to lead us out of this mess.
Problem is, if most of them will be absolutely honest, they will say, they are looking at the plans both men are putting forth, and going by that.
Problem is, few are really seeking God's truth about the situation. Because if they were, maybe God would tell them, that these are the last days, and that these things are already preordained to happen, and will lead in to the second coming of Christ, and that we need to be getting ourselves ready for that, because He is not going to change what He has planned for this nation, and the world.
We are sooooo... in to politics, and the promises of men that say, 'Choose me, and I will lead this nation back to prosperity. Everyone will be happy. Peace will reign and everything will be okay!!' We will jump first and look later.
Well, guess what?? My bible doesn't tell me that. In fact, the opposite is true.
People will continue to suffer, as things get worse and worse, as this nation falls deeper and deeper in to the history books, as another great nation, that started out with great promise, following the ways of God, but opened itself up to wiles of immorality, pride, and debauchery. And in the end, had to suffer the same fate of Sodom and Gamorrah, Rome, Babylon, and even Israel.
We Christians, have the only answer for the troubles of this day and time, and it is not Barack Obama, nor John McCain that will bring us out of this mess, but Jesus Christ.
Does my message sound a little 'extreme??'
Well, if you think about it, that is what the normal position of the Christian, is supposed to be. If you think about it, in the truest since of the word, Jesus, was an extremist. He followed God's Word all the way to the cross. We should be willing to do the same.
He was willing to give His life, to show us how to live our lives. And yet, most Christians want to find 'common ground', or a 'comfort zone', where they can blend in with the world